Draka Fileca is the French supplier (at Sainte-Geneviève, from the Prysmian Group) that has developed a cable for digital transmission for A350 XWB family. The cable not only had to enable high transmission rates but also had to be much lighter than the previously used KO24 type.
Star-Quad KL24 data cable is up to 25% lighter than previous types of quad cables. And this cable also complies with the requirements of EN 3375-011 for electric cables for digital data transmission in aerospace.
Charles Boullot R&D Project Leader at Draka Fileca explains: “The challenge with developing this cable was to lower the weight without reducing the diameter, because one of the customer’s specifications was compatibility with existing contacts, connectors and tools. That is why we decided to use a fluoroplastic foam type for the insulation instead of a conventional fluoroplastic.”
The type that was finally used was DuPont™ Teflon® FFR 770, which belongs to a family of new foam grades based on DuPont’s patented Airquick technology. These products are suitable for the production of lightweight high-performance cables for high-frequency signal transmission in a wide temperature range and with minimal signal distortion.
It is being initially used in the A350 XWB and there are plans to extend in the near future to other Airbus models, in order to optimize the weight, that for instance on the A380 could be lowered by up to 85kg.
Based on the article “Lightweight data cables” published in Aircraft Interiors International